San Rafael, CA – Riding certain electric-assisted bicycles, commonly called e-bikes, is now allowed on multiuse paved pathways maintained by the County of Marin, including the popular Mill Valley/Sausalito Multiuse Pathway and the Corte Madera Creek Pathway.
E-bikes like this one are now permitted on multiuse paved pathways maintained by the County of Marin.
Following a September 24 public hearing, the Marin County Board of Supervisors approved amendments to the Marin County Code as recommended by the Marin County Parks and Open Space Commission and staff from Marin County Parks. The rules updates accommodate changes in transportation, help alleviate road congestion, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The changes do not affect rules in open space preserves and other properties within the Marin County Open Space District. E-bikes remain prohibited on those unpaved trails.
Many visitors told Marin County Parks that they welcome the addition of e-bikes as a transportation option on the paved pathways, although concerns remained about safety. All bicycles and electric bicycles are subject to a maximum speed of 15 mph on County-maintained pathways except for the Bayfront Park section of the Mill Valley/Sausalito Path, where the speed limit is 10 mph. As with all other path visitors, Parks said e-bike riders should follow the Share the Path rules: be courteous, know the rules, be responsible.”
“We need to put this in place. It is about behavior right now, less than it is about technology,” Supervisor Katie Rice said.
“It comes down to safety and awareness by all,” Supervisor Damon Connolly added. “E-bikes … open up new avenues for additional folks to hop on that bike and test out commuting.”
The State of California updated its vehicle code in 2016 to include a definition of an e-bike. The state said it is a fully operational pedal bicycle with an electric motor of less than 750 watts. The law still allows for local authorities and public agencies to regulate e-bike use within their jurisdictions.
A Class 1 e-bike has a pedal-assisted motor providing power only when pedaling and turning it off when the bike hits 20 mph. A Class 2 e-bike provides a boost up to 20 mph even when a rider is not pedaling. A Class 3 e-bike assists up to 28 mph.
Marin’s updated ordinance allows Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes on public roads and parking lots within Marin County Parks facilities, and on County paved bicycle and multiuse pathways. Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes also would be allowed in other areas when specifically signed to permit them. Class 3 e-bikes are prohibited within Parks facilities except upon public roadways and parking lots or when specifically signed to permit them.